The best place to locate abandoned buildings is searching the local classifieds for unusual home sales that are foreclosed or need to be sold immediately below market value. With some research, a motivated investor can locate a mansion.
Some websites to search for properties include: LocationWorks.com, CircaOldHouses.com, DerelictLondon.com and Eaglestar.net. LocationWorks.com allows one to view mansions and castles listed as "Empty, Derelict, Ruined." CircaOldHouses.com exclusively provides listings of older historical homes, many of which are abandoned. DerelictLondon.com is run by a non-profit that focus on filling vacant homes, while EagleStar.net provides standard real estate listings that can be sorted to show only "Fixer Upper Remodel and Abandoned" properties.
Europe is strewn with abandoned mansions and castles. Many of these locations sell for the value of the land, including the existing structures for next to nothing. Frequently these buildings are inhabitable and require extensive restoration, which requires building permits from the local authorities. Therefore, prior to jumping into a restoration project, investors should get appraisals from a realtor on what needs to be done to bring a building back up to residential code.
Restoring a mansion could easily run into the millions, therefore investors should be gauge whether a particular location's restoration fits their budget, their long term goals for entering into such a project, and ensure that they have the ability to commit to the project throughout its duration. If successfully restored, historically significant properties can sell to the right person for many times the initial investment.